DEMAND for technical items such as advanced running shoes helped sporting giant Adidas grow profits in the first quarter despite the lack of big events like the London Olympics to feed the fitness bug.
The German group enjoyed its highest-ever gross profit margin, also aided by increased sales through its own stores.
Despite a 2 per cent fall in first-quarter sales, operating profit at the world’s second largest sportswear firm jumped 8 per cent to €442 million (£372m) in the three months to the end of March.
Crucially, its gross profit margin widened 2.4 percentage points to 50.1, only the second time it has ever reported a figure above 50 per cent.
Adidas also confirmed its expectations that full-year earnings per share were set to rise between 12 and 16 per cent.
Chief executive Herbert Hainer said a barrage of product launches would help offset the lack of sales related to events such as last year’s European football championships and the Olympics.